Signs of Teen Dating Violence

    We all know how difficult it is to be a teenager. Everything seems life shattering. Not making the team, not getting the lead in a play, and not being asked out by the most popular person in school. All these things can seem as if the world is coming to an end. But what about the teen that facing a true life altering ordeal. There is a growing number of teens in abusive relationships. Approximately 9% of teens are a victim of physical violence from their partner every year. Teen dating violence is defined as the mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse that occurs within a romantic relationship. Examples of teen dating violence:

• Emotional abuse – this includes your mate talking down to you; hurting your feelings.
• Verbal abuse – this includes your mate yelling, threatening, or mocking you.
• Controlling behavior – your mate calling you repeatedly, telling you who you can talk to or hang out with, going through your phone without your permission, and most importantly forcing you into a sexual situation when you’re not ready.0

Most teens may not realize they’re in an abusive relationship. Especially, boys. Most teens–both boys and girls–thought it was okay for girls to hit boys. It is not! Starting as early as eleven years old, parents should have the conversation with their teens about abuse. And please understand that eleven years old is not too young to have this discussion. Pre-teens are at the very threshold of learning to interact on a whole other level with the opposite sex. In this day and age, dating begins quite early, even if parents have strict rules about it. And we all know how quickly kids learn these days.
If you are worried about your teen being in an abusive relationship, here are some signs to look for:

• Does your child show physical signs of abuse?
• Has his or her grades began to fall, or have they dropped out completely?
• Have they changed their personal style (dress, hair, makeup, if allowed, etc.)?
• Has their confidence taken a dive?
• Have they quit their normal routine of activities (after school or otherwise)?
• Are they using drugs or drinking alcohol?
• Are they having mood swings or emotional breakdowns?
• Have they started isolating themselves from family and friends?
• Do they apologize for their significant other’s angry outbursts or awkward behavior?
• Do they seem overly worried about upsetting their significant other?
• Are they suffering from sudden weight loss, depression, anxiety, or suicide?

If any of these signs stick out to you, please talk to your teen. They need someone in their corner. Please talk them today!
~Be Blessed~


Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s half sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power grab into tragic martyrdom.

“Learn you to die,” was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her half sister, Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold.

“Farewell, my sister,” writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving Queen Elizabeth?


The Marriage Pact

I finished this book last week and I still can’t believe it. From the beginning, I was instantly pulled into the lives of Alice and Jake. I found myself screaming at them not to sign the contract (yes, I get that involved in my reading!). Of course, they didn’t listen to me. From the moment the newlyweds signed their contracts, their marriage was no longer theirs. The Pact’s rules were meant to be followed to a “T”. And if broken, no matter how small, your charge could be deemed a misdemeanor or felony. Your punishment, anything from wearing a bracelet, a neck brace, or jail time (yes, jail time!).  This book kept me interested from beginning to end. However, the ending was not what I expected. It sort of let me down in the last chapter, but not enough to ruin the book for me. All in all, I enjoyed the story and will be reading other books by this author.

I give this book 4 STARS!

Grey’s Anatomy: Lives Given

Recap: Stadler is dead! At long last the monster is gone. Show of hands, how many of you thought Jo and Karev tried to kill the ex-husband? Neither did I. I didn’t see Jo being that vindictive; and Karev already had his chance to kill Stadler and didn’t take it. Side-note: Meredith was hilarious!

Back on topic, Sadler was last seen threatening Jo. He told her that now that he knew where she was, he would keep in touch. The next time we see him, he’s screaming in pain and bleeding out in a bed. Once everything came out, we found out he was hit by a drunk driver. His fiancé Jenny finally got up the nerve to tell him she was leaving him. Sadler became so enraged that he tried to attack her, lost his balance, and hit his head on the edge of the bed. His brain began to swell, and Sadler was diagnosed brain dead.

Though Sadler’s demise was tied up in a pretty bow, it was Jo’s ending decision that changed this entire episode for me. Since she was still married to Sadler, it was left up to Jo to make a final decision on what should happen to him. Jo decided to donate his organs. I thought this was a beautiful way to put an end to a monster. He’d spent his entire life tormenting others and now his organs would be used for good.

As I said before, Sadler’s death was tied in a neat, little bow. Of course, in real life abusive relationships do not end this way. I’m sure some of you wish it they did. I, for sure am one of them. However, I did learn a very important lesson from these past couple of weeks of Grey’s Anatomy. Forgiveness is an amazing thing. It’s also the best revenge. So, my advice is to forgive yourself and your abuser. It’s not about them; it’s about you moving on with your life. See you on TGIT!!

~Be Blessed~


Grey’s Anatomy

Tonight, Grey’s Anatomy played out one of my biggest fears. If you don’t watch the show, you should. The season premiere portrayed a part of my life that I fear every day.  I’m sure you already know, but Jo Wilson’s abusive husband has found her. Jo finally found the courage to send him divorce papers and instead of signing them and sending them back, he showed up at Seattle Grace. With a new fiancé. Needless to say, Jo is in shock and fear. She does everything to keep it together, but eventually loses it and blows up at the chief when he rains accolades on the great Dr. Paul Stadler.

The reason this episode hit so close to home for me is because I live with this fear daily. I work across from the prison where my abuser is being held. On a daily basis I fear that he will walk into my office. I know you’re wondering how that would occur, so let me explain. In our building there are inmates that help the cleaning and maintenance staff. When I realized that my ex was being held in the prison across the street from my job I knew there was just a matter of time before he would show up. Now I can’t do anything about his or my location but my anxiety about him hangs over my head every day. I’m sure some of you may think that I’m overreacting, but  he still writes me and tells me that he’ll never let me go. I think I have a right to overreact. I take my safety extremely serious. As a person who’s been stalked and even to some small extent I still am. I have to be careful.

Tonight’s show brought out emotions that I wasn’t ready to face. It was too real and too painful. I’d somehow made myself believe that I was no longer afraid of him, that I’d moved on. I still believe that I am not  afraid of him and I have definitely moved on. I’m just extremely careful, right?

~Be Blessed~

P.S. I love Grey’s Anatomy!!

Words and Wine

A great time was had by all this weekend! Tomorrow’s best sellers showed up. Thank you to Angela Kay Austin, Jae Henderson, and Lar’Juanette Williams for including me in this event.


First Read of the Year!


Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.

And then one of them breaks the rules.

The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.

For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Let’s get started!!